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Former Collegiate Athlete Battles a Rare Cancer and Wins

by Staff Writer / Pittsburgh Penguins
In 2007, Adam Frederick, a former all-state high school quarterback and college football player at Kent State University, thought the pain and numbness in his lower back was due to a sports injury. After a few weeks of physical therapy, his symptoms weren’t improving. His physician ordered an MRI, which revealed a mass near his pelvis. After receiving the results, Adam made an appointment with Richard McGough, MD, an orthopaedic surgical oncologist at UPMC Cancer Centers.

A week following the scan, Adam’s pelvis broke. After being admitted to UPMC Shadyside, he learned he had Ewing’s sarcoma at age 26. Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare, aggressive, malignant tumor often seen in children and young adults.

He was living in Gibsonia, Pa., at the time of the diagnosis. “It was fantastic to be just 20 minutes from the hospital,” he says. “When you’re undergoing treatments and not feeling well, you don’t want to spend four or five hours in a car.”

He began undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment every other week for two months, under the care of medical oncologist Stanley Marks, MD. After chemo, Adam faced surgery to remove the rest of the tumor. Fortunately, Dr. McGough was able to successfully remove the tumor and save Adam’s leg.

“To have UPMC in my backyard was a huge blessing when I was diagnosed with cancer,” Adam says. “I underwent treatment and surgery at UPMC Shadyside and Hillman Cancer Center.”

Now three years later, Adam is in good health. He works as a financial adviser with PNC Bank, and he is happily married to his sister’s good friend, Sarah, whom he met while in the hospital during his year-long treatment regimen. Last spring, they celebrated both their first wedding anniversary and the birth of their first child, Grace.
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